Roots of Japan

Ishikawa

Ishikawa, thanks to the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen, is attracting more tourists than ever before.Arrive at Ishikawa’s major station, Kanazawa station, and its massive size together with its distinctive Tsuzumi-Mon (Drum Gate) and Motenashi Dome (Welcome Dome), will blow you away.If you plan to travel by air, come via Noto Satoyama airport or Komatsu Airport.You can fly direct from Haneda to Noto Satoyama airport, and flights to Komatsu airport come from Haneda, Narita, Sapporo, Sendai, Fukuoka and Naha.

Ishikawa has an approximate area of 4,186 ㎢ and an estimated population of 1.14 million people.Kanagawa city is the region with the highest population, with around 460,000 residents.Ishikawa has a Sea of Japan climate and daylight hours are relatively short.In winter, seasonal winds from the north bring low temperatures and many snowy days.Ishikawa also gets the most winter lightning in Japan, a very rare weather event worldwide, where lightning occurs during a snowstorm.

Ishikawa is home to a number of interesting attractions, including World Agricultural Heritage Sites, National Sites of Scenic Beauty and Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Traditional Buildings.Kanazawa city, where a castle town mixes with modern attractions, is unique and unusual.We recommend setting aside plenty of time to explore Kanazawa city's many popular tourist attractions.Let's now check out some of Ishikawa's top tourist attractions.
1/ Kenroku-en garden
2/ Kanazawa Castle
3/ Nomura Samurai Family Residence
4/ Tentokuin Temple
5/ The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
6/ Tsuki-usagi no Sato (rabbit-themed rest stop)
7/ Kōrogi Bridge (Cricket Bridge)
8/ Lake Shibayamagata
9/ World's Longest Bench
10/ Shiroyone Senmaida (A Thousand Rice Paddies in Shiroyone)

Kenroku-en garden is a must-see when visiting Kanazawa city.Every day, many tourists, both Japanese and foreign, visit Kenroku-en garden, one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan.Not only is this garden the perfect place to relax, but you can have lunch there, too.Try not to rush your visit, but give yourself plenty of time to take in the peaceful surroundings.Shiroyone Senmaida, which was designated as a World Agricultural Heritage Site in 2011, is also well worth checking out.The best time to go is in spring, when the fields are flooded and the sky reflected on the water’s surface looks spectacular.Don’t forget to take some photos of the beautiful scenery!

No trip would be complete without a hot spring, or onsen, experience.Ishikawa has plenty of amazing onsen to choose from.So, how about staying in a hot spring resort where you can enjoy your evenings soaking in a relaxing onsen?Here is a list of some of Ishikawa’s best onsen.
1/ Yuwaku Onsen
2/ Kaga Onsen
3/ Wakura Onsen
4/ Wajima Onsen
5/ Shiganosato Onsen

We’ve listed just five, but of course there are many more amazing onsen found throughout Ishikawa.Kaga Onsen is a general term that includes four resorts - Yamashiro, Yamanaka, Awazu and Katayamazu.These onsen have a history of over 1,300 years and cover an area of 16 km.This fascinating area tends to make visitors want to stay for several nights in more than one resort!Kagaya, located in Wakura Onsen, has been ranked as Japan's number one “Ryokan”, or traditional Japanese inn, for the last 35 years.Since you’ve come all this way to Ishikawa, how about enjoying a stay at a local ryokan?

Next, let's take a look at some of Ishikawa's best cherry blossom spots.You can enjoy cherry blossoms at many of Ishikawa’s popular tourist attractions.With so many great places to choose from, it's hard to narrow down the list. Take a look at our top five picks.
1/ Ipponmatsu Park
2/ Shirokoyama Park
3/ Ishikawa Agriculture and Forestry Research Center – Forestry Experimental Station Forest Park
4/ Kurikara Park
5/ Health Road

Shirokoyama Park will captivate you with an incredible 1,000 blossoming cherry trees of 18 varieties.With so many varieties, this park enjoys a long cherry blossom season from late March to late April.Health Road, also known as “Sakura Road”, is lined with cherry blossom trees for around 12 km, and is a favorite local spot for cherry blossom viewing.Come and enjoy a relaxing stroll under these beautiful cherry trees.

Let’s now see Ishikawa’s best spots to enjoy the autumn leaves as they turn beautiful shades of red and yellow.Note that, while we won’t add it to the list, Kenroku-en garden is also known for its beautiful autumn colors.
1/ Natadera Temple
2/ Kakusenkei Gorge
3/ Fukube Falls
4/ Shiramine Village
5/ Mt. Hodatsu

Visitors can enjoy stunning autumn colors at Natadera temple, awarded a star in the French travel guidebook Michelin Green Guide Japan, in 2015.The unique views of autumn colors at Fukube Falls, a waterfall along the toll road, Hakusan Shirakawa-go White Road, has made it a popular destination.Here you can enjoy the combination of bright, vivid autumn foliage against waterfalls and rocky surfaces.

Finally, let’s look at some of Ishikawa’s local cuisine.Vegetables are widely cultivated in Ishikawa, with a focus on traditional Kaga and Noto Vegetables.Also, Ishikawa has the largest catch of yellowtail in Japan, by prefecture.Many local dishes make good use of these ingredients, so make sure to give Ishikawa’s unique cuisine a try while you are out exploring or at your accommodations.
1/ Kabura Sushi
2/ The Buridon (yellowtail and crab rice bowl)
3/ Ishiru no Kaiyaki (grilled scallop with Ishiri fish sauce)
4/ Komatsu Udon
5/ Kanazawa Curry

One of the participants in the qualifying round of "The 4th Japan Local Donburi Championship” was the “Buridon”, a rice bowl topped with yellowtail, an ingredient synonymous with winter in the Noto region of Ishikawa.This sumptuous dish not only has fresh yellowtail but also snow crab!If you visit Ishikawa in winter, you won’t want to miss giving it a try.Kanzawa, where many of Ishikawa’s tourist attractions are concentrated, is home to Kanazawa Curry, a curry known for its unique black color, made by adding caramel, and its sweet flavor.You’ll definitely want to try Kanazawa Curry’s delicious thick, rich sauce!Kanazawa Curry is also available in ready-to-eat packs.This would be a delicious souvenir, sure to make anyone happy.How about buying some for yourself and your friends and family, too?

While reading about Ishikawa’s best tourist attractions, seasonal spots, onsen and local cuisine, did you come across some things you would like to check out?We recommend staying a night or two in Kanazawa city, where many of the attractions are concentrated, then check out other areas of Ishikawa, too.Experience the local onsen and cuisine, too, as you explore all that Ishikawa has to offer.

It is my opinion and summary. Please acknowledge that there are various opinions.